Live In The Northeast? Take These Steps To Protect Trees From EAB

Posted on: 16 December 2019

The emerald ash borer, or EAB, is ripping its way through the northeastern United States. These bright green beetles lay their eggs beneath the bark of the ash tree. When those eggs hatch, the larvae crawl into the tree's interior, causing damage along the way. They then dig their way back out of the tree as adults, leaving D-shaped holes in the tree's trunk. Before long, the tree's branches start turning brown, and it dies.

So how do you ensure your ash trees do not suffer the same fate? There's nothing you can do to fully protect your trees. The EAB is aggressive, and it's killing trees quickly. However, taking the steps below will reduce your risk of an infestation.

1. Ask neighbors to remove affected trees.

If your neighbors have ash trees that appear to be affected by emerald ash borers, kindly ask those neighbors if they would have the trees removed. Once a tree is infected, it will not survive, so there is really no point in leaving it around. That infected tree is housing live EABs, and as such, it is putting your tree at risk of an infestation, too. If the neighbors are not too keen on having the trees removed, you could offer to pay for part of the fee — doing so could save you money spent on your own trees later.

2. Have your trees injected with emamectin.

This is an insecticide that, if injected into the tree trunk, will help repel EABs and protect the tree. The substance flows through the vascular tissue, which is what the EABs feed on. When one does eat the vascular tissue which has been embedded with emamectin, it will die. Make sure you have a qualified tree service come visit to inject the emamectin; it must be done very carefully in order to be effective. Your trees will need to be re-treated every two years.

3. Minimize pruning.

Although trimming can be good for trees under normal circumstances, you're better off not pruning your ash tree with the EAB being so prevalent these days. After you prune the tree, the sap from the open wound can attract more EABs. If you do need to prune the tree to remove damaged branches or the like, do so in the winter, if possible, since insects are far less active then.

EABs are ravaging the country, but your ash trees may not have to be victims. Take the steps above to help protect them and contact a company like Schulhoff Tree & Lawn Care, Inc. for help with emerald ash borer treatments today.